Tuesday’s TPS Report: Tropical Wool Crossover Sheath Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Ann taylor Tropical Wool Crossover Sheath DressI really like this simple sheath dress from Ann Taylor, available online only.  The V-neck and empire waist are flattering to curvier girls (and can create curves for straighter girls), and the neckline in the back is nice and high.  It’s $158, but thanks to a promotion at Ann Taylor you can take 30% off all dresses, including this one.  Lots of sizes left, in regular and petites. Tropical Wool Crossover Sheath Dress

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  1. I think it makes the model look a bit hippy (which would mean my hips would resemble the Titanic – no joke, at my first gyno appointment, my doc told 17 year old me “Well, your body’s totally in shape to have a baby any day now!”) It might just be the way the model’s standing though.

    As a side note, is it ever okay to be uncomfortable discussing compensation (in terms of hard dollars) at work? We are working on building a budget to determine what our need is before seeking a round of funding. We’re an established company and this aspect of the business will be spinning off into a new company that will need some external funding. My boss brought in a good friend of his as a consultant that is a venture capitalist to help us shape our business plan, put us in touch with some of his contacts, etc, once we start this.

    We basically were trying to figure out how much we would need to budget to hire someone that does the type of work I do (I’m entry level but am probably doing mid-level manager type of work). The consultant asked me point blank how much I was paid — my boss was in the room and (obviously) knows. He didn’t object to the question, so I felt like I had no choice but to actually tell him. He looked surprised and my boss looked a little embarrassed (I think I am being underpaid for the work I’m doing, but I really enjoy it so it’s a tradeoff) and the consultant told me to double it on the plan.

    In any case, for the future, would it have been appropriate to have said “I’m not comfortable discussing dollars and cents of my salary, but I think we should budget $XX for this section?” I felt very forced, and uncomfortable for my boss, and answered even though I would have rather not. Or do you think when someone senior asks you directly, you pretty much have to give them the answer they’re looking for?

    • I think the question is why are you focusing on etiquette when you now know you’re getting paid half of what you deserve?

      • This.

      • That’s what my mother keeps asking me! I really like what I’m doing, and I’m not getting paid out of line with an entry level position – the problem is that I’m doing higher than entry-level work. The trade off is that since I start business school next year, I am getting WAY more experience than anyone else I know my age – to the point of making very real impactful decisions for the organization, building out the organizational five year plan, working as the head of a product line, most likely gaining a more senior position in this new organization we’re forming, while a lot of my friends are still answering phones and scheduling meetings. So it’s a tradeoff, but more money is definitely something I’m looking for/thinking about – I haven’t quite been here a year yet, but at my performance review, I’ll be bringing it up.

        • There should not be a tradeoff. You should get paid appropriately, especially if your enthusiasm for your job is reaping such huge benefits to your organization! Would you rather have a job you like with an ok salary, or would you rather have a job you like with a better salary?

        • "entry level" :

          I feel you on the underpaid issue. I work for government so there are other issues at play. I know other people at my organization in the same situation based on what the agency can afford. I see people who are supposedly senior to me who need a lot more direction and supervision while I just get told I can handle myself and get sent on my way. We have virtually no training and I’m usually asked to try to develop training materials if necessary or help other people understand how to do their jobs. Why I am still in a “junior” position is beyond me.

          • super anon :

            i hear ya, sista! my boss is GS-14 and cant send email! she/he constantly pushes her/his work on to me and its so frustrating. i am angry about it almost everyday. the only thing is that she/he is very supportive about promotions, etc, whereas other supervisors in my office may be more competant, they are not as encouraging about upward mobility for their team members.

        • I disagree. If you’re entry level the fact that you do midlevel work now and you are elaving in a year is in line with entry level pay. Senior level pay isn’s just because you do some more tasks but have the years of experience and knwoledge in thef ield.

      • absolutely! I was thinking Oh my god she is gonna see a new hire get twice what she is getting! You have to raise the point!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Agreed. My first job out of college was entry level, but I ended up taking on far more than that. A friend heard about an opening at his company for a role that sounded like what I was actually doing, including a 75% raise over my very modest paycheck. I interviewed for the job, it went well, and then I went to my boss and said that while the paycheck was appropriate for the official job description, I was actually doing quite a bit more than that, and the market rate was 75% more than I made. I also pointed out I was going to law school in a year, so the impact on the budget would be finite. And since I was going to law school, I needed to make as much money as I could before then, even though I really wanted to stay where I was. Boss found the money to give me a 60% raise and I stayed until law school. I also got rejected from the other company :).

        –> Ask for the raise you deserve.

    • I can understand being uncomfortable, but in a situation like the one you describe I really don’t see why you would/how you could not answer the question.

      I think it may be a different situation if your co-workers were all in the room or if the question was unrelated to the budget this person was brought in to help set up. But, honestly, being uncomfortable about the situation you describe is akin to being uncomfortable if someone asks you what salary you are looking to make at a job interview — sure, it’s not a fun question for most people, but it is a reasonable one.

      As to your first point, I also don’t think this dress makes the model look remotely “hippy.” If we are going to consider this a “hippy” look, I fear that soon women will start having weird surgeries to invert their hips inwards altogether somehow.

      • I see why you were uncomfortable, and I would have been uncomfortable as well, but this is the perfect opportunity to ask for a raise. The budget is being considered, your boss seemed embarrassed by your salary, etc. … I would use this to have another uncomfortable conversation in which you ask for a raise.

      • Ha! Maybe I am on hyper alert for hippiness because if the model has even a hint of hips, I look like a hip-monster.

    • Did you tell the consultant the amount of your salary or the combined amount of your salary plus benefits? In my office, we have to budget the “loaded” amount when budgeting for new positions (salary plus various insurances, 401K match to the potential max, maybe even employer-paid payroll taxes, etc), so that we can see the full picture of what an employee costs. Benefits add up quickly, and the consultant may have been thinking beyond just salary.

      This isn’t to say the new hire will not make more than you do, but it might not be as bad as it seems.

      Regardless, you do need to bring this up with your boss.

      • We were creating the budget with separate sections for salary, then benefits, then G&A (calculated per employee). Would be nice if that were true though!

        • Unlike the others, I’m NOT sure I understand why you were embarrassed – unless it was for your boss, who is evidently getting you cheaply (and protecting his pride on that front is not your job). But it was information the consultant legitimately needed and there was no one in the room but the consultant. If it was an out-of-bounds question, it was your boss’s responsibility to step in and tell the consultant “we’ll discuss this portion of the budget at another time.” And from the sound of things, your boss would have been wise to do so.

    • Have you asked for the raise? Like “in light of our discussion on Tuesday, I have realized that the work I do is not commensurate with my compensation, and I would like to address that.” There’s a book called “Women don’t ask” that talks directly about this – you assume it’s a tradeoff. Have you asked? Do you know it’s a tradeoff?

    • Work Is Not A Dinner Party :

      You have to read this book: Mika Brzezinski, “Knowing Your Value: Women, Money & Getting What You’re Worth”


      I read an interview with the author in More Magazine last night (I’m 44 — I can read More if I want), and it addresses your situation exactly.

      The other commenters are right: ask not whether you are being discourteous while you are being underpaid by 50%, as WHY you are being underpaid %50!

  2. Love this! I’d be a little concerned about length and where the top and bottom seams of the inset waistband would fit (I’m big-busted and long-waisted, so my narrowest point is always much lower than dress designers recognize) but this is lovely!

    • Agreed, especially on the top part of the waistband. Anything that cuts across the bustline doesn’t work too well for me. That’s why I’m excited about this dress, which doesn’t have any potentially-problematic seams at the bust: http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=79&pageId=1&productId=570016360&viewAll=true&prd=Cotton+FitandFlare+Dress&subCatId=&color=&fromSearch=&inSeam=&posId=25&catId=cat210002&cat=Dresses++Skirts&onSale=&colorFamily=&maxPg=1&size=

      • I love that dress! Great find

      • I really love that dress! Wish I were not on a shopping ban due to too much shopping the last few months, and too many bills to pay. Sigh.

      • anonymiss :

        Lovely! I have never shopped at that store but maybe I’ll have to start soon.

  3. Threadjack-
    I was in a restaurant with my two kids and a friend when a woman near us started breastfeeding very openly- no pashmina, no rush to tuck everything away afterward, etc. I had recently started having the conversations with my kids about privacy and respecting other peoples space and your own body (son used to just drop his bathing suit and run around the public pool- trying to break that habit before this summer!!) They started asking questions about what the woman was doing, why she was opening her shirt in public, and whether that was respectful. I tried answering discreetly, saying that she was feeding a baby and that what she was doing is a special circumstance and then moved the conversation on to another topic. When the woman got up to leave, she brushed by our table, gave us quite a glare, and commented on the fact that we were “incredibly rude” before storming out of the restaurant.

    Should I have responded differently to my kids? I was shocked that another mother would react so strongly to innocent questions from kids, who wer very clearly encountering something they had never seen before, which contradicted things I had been trying to teach them!

    • I can’t imagine what else you could have done under the circumstances! Sometimes these awkward encounters are a fact of life, especially with little kids. Don’t worry about it.

      • Agreed. The woman sounds like a complete nut. You did great. Your kids will now equate breast-feeding with Weird Lady.

    • I think you handled the situation with grace and diplomacy. You didn’t ignore your kids questions, you didn’t heap judgment on the woman, etc. I’m frankly a bit surprised that she thought you were “incredible rude” given the circumstances.

    • She must be a first time mom if she doesn’t recognize that’s just how kids act. She’s in for a rude awakening when her baby gets a bit older. :) Sounds to me like you handled it very well.

    • Diana Barry :

      It may be that you acted embarrassed while “answering discreetly”, and that’s why the nursing mom reacted the way she did. Your response sounds fine, though, just to explain to the kids that she’s feeding her baby. (they haven’t seen other nursing moms before?? how old are they?) Don’t worry about it.

      • This. Based on the account, I would say that either your behavior was not quite in line with what you said to your kids, i.e., you acted obviously embarrased or bothered or outraged by this woman’s breastfeeding, and maybe your explanation to your kids came off as a little bit judgmental to her; or, she is just kind of crazy.

        That said, I wouldn’t worry about it. It doesn’t sound like you acted unreasonably, and, for better or worse, almost no one acts reasonably in these situations. I don’t have a position one way or the other, but I find it striking that people are all either outraged that anyone would dare do something so natural in public or are outraged that anyone would want to stop them. I think if we stop thinking so much about other people’s breasts and choices, we would be much better off both individually and as a whole. I was at brunch once and this woman sat down at the next table, on the sidewalk, breastfed her baby in open view, and then left. I neither would have done that, nor would I say that it any way ruined my brunch.

        • “I neither would have done that, nor would I say that it any way ruined my brunch.”


          I don’t have children but plan to, and I plan to breastfeed. I’ll definitely be breastfeeding in public, but I’ll drape a shawl over me/baby. For my own comfort. I also won’t be spitting or throwing rocks at women who choose to go sans shawl or breastfeed in the ladies room instead.

        • I really don’t care what someone else does with their breasts, but I just don’t want to see their breasts. I cannot understand why any woman would not WANT to cover themselves. The woman made the choice to have the child and I will not tell anyone how they should live their life, but please, just cover up. There’s really no reason not to.

          • Actually, there IS a reason not to cover up. Some babies don’t tolerate it. My youngest son was generally good about it, but if he got hot and fidgety, he would play with my cover-up (a Hooter Hider, btw, which I adored). Him playing with the cover-up could be way more exposing than just nursing discretely without it.

          • I think this stems from my own feeling about not wanting to be so exposed. I feel very comfortable in a swim suit, but no one other than myself, my doctor, and a significant other need to see that much of me. I honestly do not think I could breastfeed in public without something to cover me! Even in the women’s restroom! However, I do not have children and do not plan on having children for at least 5 years. The entire thing freaks me out though! I can’t even handle needles and I’ve never had an IV. The idea of doctors and nurses touching me is terrible also! Anyone else feel like this or felt like this before having children? I want children, but the entire thing freaks me out!

    • found a peanut :

      I will probably get a lot of hate for this, but I really dislike when women breastfeed in public, and I HATE it when they do it openly. There is just something so smug and arrogant about it. They know they are making people feel uncomfortable (they know, right? how could they not know?) and yet they do it anyway because they feel like they are entitled to do it. No, you are not entitled to display your breasts in public while I am sitting there with my husband/children/etc., thus forcing me into an uncomfortable position while I am in a public space; and if, for some reason, you are absolutely required to feed your child right then and there (which, really, how often is that the case, because there are times when I REALLY need to pee and yet I always manage to make it to a bathroom before exposing myself and releasing my bodily fluids) you should cover yourself. AND THEN, if you refuse to follow these simple rules for civil society and my small children question me about it because they don’t normally see women’s exposed breasts, you make me feel bad for trying to make the best out of a weird situation that you created? UGH.

      I don’t care if you “need” to feed or it’s good for your baby or it’s natural. There are dozens of things that humans need to do that are natural and healthy and that we try to cover up because society says so (see: body odor).

      So no, you should have not responded differently. That woman was horrid.

      • Personally, I’d rather see an accidental flash of breast than hear a screaming, hungry infant for an hour on the train. We see breasts as sex objects all the time, but as a culture, we are uncomfortable when we see them being used as intended (milk dispensers).

        I understand it makes you uncomfortable, but maybe we should all take a step back and ask why it makes us uncomfortable, and whether we should try to change that perception as a society.

        I don’t want this discussion to turn into breast-feeding wars! It sounds like the OP handled the situation very well, answering the question calmly, offering explanation, and not making a big deal out of it- the same way you should answer your children’s questions when they note something out of the ordinary, for exampl,e a person in a wheel chair.

      • You went there. Oh girl.

      • Yes, she is entitled to feed her baby in public. If she has a right to be there, she has the right to feed the baby there. See also most states’ statutes. Just look away, or move away if it makes you uncomfortable.

        It is really a cultural problem that breasts have been so sexualized and this reaction comes out. Sigh.

      • you've got to be kidding :

        Feeding a baby is smug and arrogant?

        And yes, in most places, they are entitled – “Forty-four states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location.” Let’s hope the other six follow suit soon.

      • Smug and arrogant? : ( I’m really sorry you feel that way. I found your comment hurtful and I’m quite surprised that you didn’t get any hate. Good on Scully for her grown up response.

      • Wow, that’s a lot of anger. I don’t know if you’ll classify this as “hate,” but I disagree with you. In my opinion, women should feel free to breastfeed in public as necessary (i.e. when the baby is hungry and there’s no good private option, which is more likely when the baby is very young and eating often), but women should be considerate about covering up when they do it. Failure to cover up with a baby blanket and/or appropriate nursing clothes is bad manners, to be sure, and acting smug and entitled is always a bad thing. But at the same time, society has (or should have) an interest in not making life harder for mothers of young babies than it already is. I think NotAFlame handled the situation very well.

      • soulfusion :

        Never had children so I can’t comment on what I would/wouldn’t do in public but I have to say this comment is offensive. I do not believe breast feeding should ever be compared to the need to pee or to body odor. As someone else mentioned, I would far rather catch sight of a woman’s breast than listen to a baby wailing. “Society” got over the idea of hiding pregnant women away from public and should get over the idea of hiding away the need to feed infants. It isn’t sexual and the extreme reactions make me wonder why people treat it that way.

      • just so peanut doesn’t feel so bad, I feel the same way. Ok, so society has over-sexualized breasts and has made it an act that most people would rather take place in private. Well, there’s a reason. Society is on a whole uncomfortable with it, and I believe that most considerate women would take that into consideration and either find some privacy or cover up (I really don’t think throwing a shawl over yourself is asking too much).
        Of course I also don’t like seeing butt-cracks, thongs, people going at it on the subway or wearing pants with big holes in the crotch. Doesn’t mean I won’t see it some times, but I, and I think generally most people, would prefer not to.

      • you have a right to feel how ever you choose, but you really ought to consider what it is that gives you this feeling. your response is really what is horrid.

        • found a peanut :

          I’m not 100% sure what does, but my vitriol is probably not helped by the fact that whenever I discuss my desire to not breastfeed there is always someone in the group who tells me that I am making the wrong choice, that breastfeeding is better for the baby, and/or insinuates (or directly states) I am not going to be a good mom. I don’t think any of these things are true (well, maybe the part about breastfeeding being better for the baby) but it starts to grate. Bonus points if the person telling me this is a man.

          • I am asking because I’m curious (I’ve never known anyone who hasn’t breastfed their children) – what is behind the desire not to breastfeed? I’m not judging you – I’m just curious, as this is the first time I’ve encountered this.

          • goirishkj :

            Some of us have medical reasons to not breastfeed. As in a medicine I really can’t stop taking (there’s no substitute) is not advised for breastfeeding. Not ideal for pregnancy either, but the benefits outweigh the risks.

            I haven’t had kids yet, not sure if I ever will. I do know that if I do have kids, I almost certainly can’t breastfeed unless I magically get completely healthy (not very likely). I’ve had the same smug attitude about how I’m potentially the worst mom ever for not breastfeeding. It does grate, especially since there’s no need. If we all just focused on helping each other instead of bringing each other down all the time, the world would be a better place (even if there are non breastfeeders running amok!)

          • @oneanon — I don’t have kids, but from what I understand, whether to do it or not is a very personal decision. Some people don’t do it for medical reasons, others have a hard time with it, others still just don’t find it practical and find formula to be much simpler/easier. Like most child-rearing decisions, everyone has very strong opinions about the subject, and not everyone likes to acknowledge that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Even how long you should breast feed can be a huge sorce of strife! I think that because there is a baby involved, people who think they know what is best feel comfortable voicing their disapproval in a way they never would for any other topic.

          • found a peanut :

            @oneanon: I just don’t like the thought of it. I think it’s icky and kind of gross. If other women want to do it, then all power to them. It’s just not for me.

          • Found a peanut — I’m sorry you’ve gotten so many negative reactions to your desire not to breastfeed. But I’m genuinely curious. You think breast-feeding is gross, so how about sex, pregnancy and child-birth? You might seriously want to think about what distinguishes these things in your mind … pregnancy isn’t all that neat and clean, and childbirth — well, that’s about as messy and full of bodily fluids as things can get. ;-) It’s all part of the process of creating and nurturing a child.

          • found a peanut :

            @GovtMom: Childbirth sounds gross and icky too, and if there were a way to have a biological child without going through it, I’d sign up in a heartbeat. Fortunately, there is such a solution to breastfeeding.

      • My problem is when kids are where they shouldn’t be, breastfed or not. I think that four-star fine dining establishments and full-on bars are places where kids shouldn’t be, so I find it annoying when they’re there, screaming, breast feeding, or even making the happy baby sounds that are adorable under most circumstances. Some places are for adults and some places are family-friendly.

        • I agree. Babies and rowdy children do not belong in nice restaurants.

          I also have encountered the “smug and arrogant” type. It’s the kind of woman who feels free to run you off the sidewalk with her jumbo twin stroller. Or who thinks it’s cute that her kids almost collided with you on their skateboards or allow their children to race around a coffee shop screaming their heads off.

          That’s why there are dedicated areas called playgrounds.

      • There’s a big difference between doing it discretely and being respectful of your surroundings and having to make a big show out of it. I see a lot of women do it discretely (including a friend of mine who was able to do it discretely with just the 3 of us there in my house, when obviously she didn’t need to worry about it), so I don’t see why that would be a big deal.

        I obviously wasn’t there, but assuming that the description of the incident is accurate, it sounds to me like this woman was deliberately baiting people so that she could act self-righteous about it. The OP did the best that one could do given that circumstance, and people need to understand that children are curious and will express that curiousity.

        • no, there isnt a difference. My personal choice is to do it discretely, but if others choose to do less so, that is their choice. There is nothing sexual, obscene, inappropriate or wrong about it. And to the previous poster, who are you to say where children should or shouldnt be, particularly if they are behaving. (I do admit that i dont want to be around screaming kids anywhere and it annoys me when parents dont take screaming kids away). What is wrong with you that you cannot be in the same restaurant with a child or baby?

          • I think you’ve misread what Kelline said. I interpreted her comment as solely suggesting that she was not pleased when children are brought to bars or fine dining establishments where otherwise they should not be, not simply to “restaurants.” I haven’t really encountered it recently, but I could imagine becoming frustrated if I sat down to an expensive meal at 9pm for an anniversary with my significant other and there was a screaming child at the next table. I think a little discretion goes a long way–if there’s not a menu for children available or it is late at night, the establishment might not be the best place for children, that is all.

          • When have you ever heard anyone complain about a sleeping baby or quiet, well-behaved children in a restaurant?

      • I wonder if the people calling Found a Peanut horrid and terrible are the same people who tend to get all huffy about commenters being “judgmental” if they are criticized or disagreed with in any way whatsoever?

      • Nope, not smug or arrogent when feeding my babies in public (now no longer breastfeeding, but we had quite a stretch there.) Just feeding the kid.

        Honestly, after spending a few years in the mom trenches and spending a lot of time with other mothers of small kids – I can’t get why it even registers to people if a woman is breastfeeding in public. Little kids, sure, as in the OP’s example, but adults? It’s just one of a zillion human activities you see out and about in the world, analagous to anyone else eating.

        If it makes you uncomfortable, you can simply turn away.

        To the OP – the woman was rude to you, perhaps because she’d encountered harsh or negative attitudes before and was (incorrectly) projecting that onto you. Sounds like you handled it just fine.

      • found a peanut :

        Don’t worry – I am not offended. A few years ago I would have thought that any breast feeding in public was inappropriate, but I have come to terms with the fact that some women think breastfeeding is mandatory. I still dislike it when they breastfeed in public but I’d like to co-exist with these women and I think that asking, demanding, insisting that they cover up when they breastfeed in public in a very reasonable compromise.

        Breasts are things that are meant to be covered up, regardless of their temporal function. That is why everyone here gets all up in arms when a co-workers shirt is an inch too low and we can see her cleavage. If a hint of cleavage at work is not OK, neither is an exposed breast in public.

        I agree with Scully’s comment that I’d rather see a flash of breast than listen to a screaming infant, but again, this is where the cover-up comes in. If you are lugging around a baby and all its accoutrements, then you should add a wrap/shawl to the baby bag and use as needed.

        I am not trying to liken breast feeding to body odor (I knew someone would take it like that). All I’m saying is, there are natural, necessary bodily functions that we all have to deal with, and society dictates that we try to be as considerate as possible to other people while we do them. Breast feeding should be no different.

        I stand by my original sentiment. If you are breast feeding in public and not covering up, it is incredibly rude, arrogant and smug. I don’t care if you have the legal right to do so or not, out of consideration for everyone else you should cover up.

        • Peanut, please see the response below – many, many babies will not eat under a blanket. They will flail around and pull it off. Non-covered, eating baby is FAR PREFERABLE to screaming baby struggling with a blanket.

          • isn’t that what nursing rooms were created for? sitting areas in restrooms? homes? all of my children ate on a fairly accurate schedule. isn’t that true of most children? can’t you arrange a restaurant meal so that you aren’t nursing at the table? I will say that with all three of mine I could not eat while nursing, so it can’t be that you are just SO hungry you have to continue your meal while nursing, right?

        • Not glued to smartphone :

          Some babies just won’t eat while covered up. I don’t think a woman should be forced to stay home all the time just because her baby cries or otherwise doesn’t like being put under a blanket. As for going into a restroom, I know I would not want to eat in a restroom, so I can’t imagine wanting to have a tiny one eat in there either!

        • this, this, this, this.
          thank you for saying it so well, Peanut.

        • Praxidike :

          “I stand by my original sentiment. If you are breast feeding in public and not covering up, it is incredibly rude, arrogant and smug. I don’t care if you have the legal right to do so or not, out of consideration for everyone else you should cover up.”

          LOL. Out of consideration for YOU, you mean. You don’t speak for everyone else. You certainly don’t speak for me, a childless woman who does not find breastfeeding offensive. It also does not make me uncomfortable. And I am certainly not one of those women who is totally comfortable with her body.

          Get off your high horse. You don’t like it, fine. But your statement that you’d “insist” someone cover up? Unreal. If I’m in a public place, doing something legal, and you disagree with it? Well, I guess you get to suck it up. Just like if you’re in a public place, doing something legal, and I disagree with it, I get to suck it up.

          • I don’t think “something legal” is much of a standard. What if I’m in a public place and someone comes over and starts humming loudly in my ear? Spitting in my direction? Picking her nose? Shouting obscenities? Telling you you’re ugly? These things are all legal, but under most circumstances, completely unacceptable and definitely fair game for an internet rant. Personally, I would not add exposed breastfeeding to this list, but your argument doesn’t hold water.

        • Found a Peanut, those of us who have breastfed (3 children, approx 1 year each) have said it best-sometimes, there just is no good way to cover up, so you do what you have to do. I don’t think that is in any way smug or rude. I did not want my breasts out there either, and I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible. Occasionally, a harried mom does forget the blanket for coverup, or the baby just won’t cooperate! I don’t think you have the right to “ask, demand or insist” that we cover up every time, just as I would never “ask, demand or insist” that you breastfeed a baby when you have no interest in doing so. All I can say is most times, the mom is even more uncomfortable than you are that she’s exposed, so don’t heap even more insult to injury upon her.

          • found a peanut :

            then she shouldn’t be breastfeeding in a public place. That woman should either figure out her child’s schedule and try to make sure she is in a private place during those times, or use a bottle when necessary.

          • Good Luck, Found a Peanut :

            You’re going to have a rude shock when you have a baby. Seriously. Come back then and tell us how you’re going with scheduling being in a private place every single time they may need or want milk.

          • Or throwing up, spitting up, peeing in your face when you change their diapers, and all manner of “icky” things. I don’t have kids, but I do know that they involve several years of ick.

        • 100% Formula Fed (and not dead because of it) :

          Peanut, thanks for saying what I am sure a lot of people think. I know I pretty much agree with everything you have said, and I think you have said it reasonably.

          I also don’t really understand the contemporary breast feeding extravaganza, from a health/development/breast is always better standpoint. Obviously a large portion of the last couple of generations was raised on formula (much worse than formula of today’s standards no less), and they all turned out just fine. We don’t exactly have generations of mentally-languishing, immune-failing zombies running around, so I am pretty sure that formula does not create the dastardly effects that many “breast is always best” proponents seem to tout these days. Another thing I think is interesting- these advocates will rarely acknowledge that formula offers balanced, steady nutrition that allows for fulfilling more specific dietary needs of infants of all sorts. Breast milk will not always do this: I know many women who eat horribly while breast feeding (I know one breast feeding woman who seems to subsist on hot dogs and the occasional Taco Bell meal) and wonder why their babies are not growing properly, having allergy/indigestion issues, etc. But they think that breast milk is always 100% better than formula no matter what, ignoring the fact that a human-made output can only be as good as the input. For people who don’t want to pay attention to their own health or nutrition while breast feeding, I think it’s sad they don’t acknowledge that formula could offer more steady and balanced nutrition. Both choices, to me, seem equally as good in a variety of circumstances. Why can’t this just be acknowledged?

          I am 100% on board with people making the choices that suit them, their needs, and their babies’ needs. What I am NOT 100% on board with is people using dubious “science,” the latest trends, and the guise of “it’s the natural way, which is obviously by default better” (because obviously technology has not evolved to deal with a slew of problems that the natural order creates) to tell me that my choices are wrong or make a haughty show that their choices are right. I was 100% fed on a soy-based formula diet, and I’ve done perfectly well for myself (in fact in many instances better than my breast-fed counterparts- I guess I defy all logic/gravity or something). So, in the face of the normalcy of myself along with millions of other formula-fed people, to hear how “wrong” and “horrible” it is to make a perfectly valid, normal, run of the mill, and in some cases safer and more nutritious choice to formula feed just makes no sense to me and really makes it seem that the people acting in such a way are those advancing their own agenda to justify their own choices. Because putting down my choices somehow makes them feel better. That I am not okay with, and it’s this sort of attitude that makes me angry, not the choices in and of themselves.

          Again, I don’t really care what other people do, so long as they realize that what I am doing is producing a baby that is equally as happy and as healthy as their natural/breast fed in public/kangaroo-parented/whatever-the-issue-de-jour- is- now baby. And when that sort of person decides to imply their agenda/choices are better than mine (be it through openly commenting on something I am doing or by making a point-driven spectacle of something they are doing), well that’s when I get annoyed.

      • Former BF Mom :

        OP- Your reaction sounds fine and appropriate. It sounds like the woman in question has issues completed unrelated to you or your children.

        For those of you who are not comfortable with visible breasts, I would note that (1) not all children will breastfeed under a blanket/shawl; (2) particularly with very small babies who lack neck control, it frequently helps to be be able to see what you are doing; and (3) when my (now school age daughter) was a baby and getting ready to start screaming, speed was of the essence. Juggling blankets/shawl, etc. slowed down the process considerably. I can safely say that while feeding my baby I was not making a social or political point. I was tired, frequently overwhelmed/hormonal, and anxious that my screaming baby not disturb other people. However, I will defend my right (and the right of other women) to breastfeed their babies in public with or without covering over the purported right of bystanders to avoid the sight of a bare breast.

      • I think an adult holding their pee for a few hours cannot be compared with a tiny baby’s hunger. I didn’t breast feed in public, but don’t care if others do. If I feel uncomfortable, I’ll just avert my eyes.

        After all, I see people in short skirts that all but expose their butt when they walk (let alone bend) – that makes me uncomfortable too (to the point where I avert my eyes:)

    • I don’t see anything wrong with the way you handled the situation. If the breastfeeding woman had been in your shoes, she probably would have made it a point to loudly tell her children how inappropriate it is to breast feed so openly in a restaurant.

    • OK, I will get stoned for this but hey it’s OK.
      Honestly, I would tell my kids that some of the grown ups make choices which are not necessarily in line with ours.
      I know this is borderline mean but you want to be consistent in the messages you send to your kids.
      Bottom line, you did nothing wrong.
      And for perspective, in my country women breastfeed until the age of two (for some religious reason), even worse, some women breastfeed kids that are not theirs… and having spent 25 years at my country, I still cannot get used to that sight (my mother did not breastfeed me at all – personal choice). This is a personal choice to be respected but do not feel sorry for passing on your own values to your kids

      • “even worse”?

        • Sorry. The “even worse” was written as I was picturing the ladies swapping various random kids while chatting on the street… I just can’t stomach it but it is definitely just me. Other people find it normal (so probably something wrong with me..).

      • Anon Feeder :

        Q. How do you make 5 pounds of fat look good?

        A: Put a nipple on it.

      • haha I was expecting to be stoned by readers from my country but it turned out alright haha

      • I breastfed both of my kids until they were three. Sometimes they nursed under blankets in public, sometimes they threw them off. Whatever, I still kept nursing them.

        And I donated 1,500 oz. of my excess pumped milk to a new adoptive mom – so no, didn’t breastfeed her baby, but gave him my milk.

        Breastfeeding was indeed “mandatory” for me. The science that says it is the vastly superior choice is sound, and I did everything possible to breastfeed them for a long time while working full-time.

        Fortunately for me, Peanut wasn’t around to comment on my choice. If Peanut does eventually have children (adopted, biological or otherwise), she is in for a very rude awakening.

    • Ha. Don’t feel too bad. Her kid will reach question-asking age in a few years and karma will bite her in the butt.

    • Maybe she was embarassed/had received stares from others prior to your kids asking….?

      Nevertheless, you were right to explain to your kids – always good to be honest.

    • There’s a woman in my church who breastfeeds while sitting in the front row, during Mass. She covers up, and my religion is very pro-babies, but there’s still something a little shocking about it. Especially since Mass is only 45 minutes long and there are 4 scheduling options during the weekend.

      • In general, breastfed babies don’t eat on a schedule – especially when they are tiny.

        I’m quite sure that Mary breastfed Jesus.

  4. 30% off and free shipping on everything, today only, at Talbots online.

    • There was a skirt I’ve been looking at, and was all excited to see this “additional” sale – only to discover that it’s now been marked up sufficiently that after the 30% off, it’s within 50 cents of the prior price.

      • Also, be aware when you check out that the 30% discount and free shipping may not appear; I had to contact their customer service people, who told me that their website is misbehaving; they removed the shipping and gave me the discount manually.

  5. Diana Barry :

    Threadjack – any tips on managing partners/bosses who tend to be very short/impatient? I was just on a conference call with a partner – we were talking to a client who she has talked to before, but is new for me (it was going to be litigation but is now going into estate admin, my area). I just came in on it yesterday, and didn’t know all the details (just what I was told by another partner). She said just after the call, “I don’t mean to be short with you, but FOCUS, okay?” Now I am feeling nervous and miffed – I am not sure what answers/responses she was looking for from me, and how to approach things with her in the future. Should I match her shortness/brusqueness? Something else? I note that she is an aggressive litigator and I am definitely neither.

    • Don’t take it personally, and try to be prepared to the fullest extent you can be.
      Also, beware of the indefinite pronoun (it, he, she, they). Refer to things as directly as you can to make it as clear and easy to understand what/who you are referring to.

  6. Ken Cole dress :

    Wanted to report back on the Ken Cole dress I got in the mail yesterday.


    It’s actually less like a zebra print, which is a good thing — it somehow looks more abstract than animal print. However, it simply wasn’t a good fit on my pear shape. Oh well.

    As an aside, I went to Ross yesterday after many years and was shocked at how many cute dresses I found! I bought a beautiful and flattering Calvin Klein dress for $30. Not bad.

  7. Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you — I thought it was such a cute dress!

  8. Subway survival :

    I moved and started riding the Metro to work (DC) last fall. Now that warm weather is arriving — and with a vengeance, might I add! — I’m wondering what everyone’s tips and tricks are for staying cool and non-disheveled when commuting on crowded trains in hot weather.

    • I wait until I reach work before I put on my makeup in the mornings. It NYC, it can get so muggy, my makeup will slide off my face while I’m waiting for the bus, let alone make it to work. I just walk directly to the bathroom, paint my face on and go on with my day.

    • This is probably not the news you want to hear but when I worked in DC, I would change my shirt and shoes at a starbucks near my office. The metro and walk to the office is brutal.

      • I also would commute in exercise clothes (shorts, tank) and change in my office (I got in before everyone else so no one saw me in my workout wear).

        • This. Or a long flowy dress. Don’t stress about it too much, I think almost everyone looks a bit sweaty and disheveled at some point during a DC summer.

    • Move to Chicago. I’m still wearing a wool coat (and resenting it)!

    • Some of the metro cars will have malfunctioning air-conditioners. Don’t suck it up, just change cars. Otherwisw I’ve been fine wearing layers and waiting to put on my jacket until I get to work.

      • This!

        If you are in the second car from the front, generally speaking go back a car, the a/c seems to malfunction in pairs on Red Line.

    • baby wipes.
      blotting papers.
      hair in a bun.
      pray for october.

      • So true! Especially the pray for October part…

      • addendum: i bring a cold cold cold can of diet coke and sneak my wrists into my bag to cool myself down on the train (don’t drink it, the Metro perfection squad will get you) and then on wrists and throat and hairline on the walk to work.

        also, if you sit by the window in the handicap seat (never when there are special needs/preggo/senior folks who need it, of course) you can pop a foot up on the metal duct at the floor there, which reduces the squished-together, stuck-together summer grossies.

        • and skipping eyeliner helps later when it gets really really humid and sticky.

          skipping necklaces… skipping everything you can skip! :)

          fanning yourself with cardstock.

        • I did this when I lived in DC too! I had a 15 minute walk to my carpool spot and even in that time, at 7am, I’d get super sweaty. I’d wear sleeveless shells and carry my blazer on one finger, or wear a strappy tank and carry my button down on a hanger, and drink/swipe on my body an ice-cold can of diet coke.

          I also second the metal duct find!

          Finally, I tried to reduce the weight of my bags. A heavy messenger bag with a computer in it can really make your back sweat. I tried to put everything into totes/purses that could be carried in one hand (not strapped to my body).

    • I commute via DC metro and walk 1/2 mile from my stop to my office. I am naturally a fast walker and frankly I find slowing down to be helpful. Everything else I do falls in the “obvious” category (aka the tips repeated in the style section every year): I use a lighter weight bag and I try to clean it out more often to eliminate weight. I keep jackets to my favorite suits at the office, wear a lot sleeveless and on the grossest days do what Anon suggests – wear a sacrificial shirt and bring one to change into. Find comfortable sandals/flats to wear – aside from the sartorial back lash on flip flops I gave up on them because they aren’t supportive of my feet.

      • I hate DC summers so much, but this chat is amusing me in sort of a comrades-in-arms way. I spent two summers with a car with no AC, with about a 20-30 minute commute. I wore a tank top and skimpy skirt for the drive and changed at work. I also tried to manuever so that at red lights, my car was in the shadow of a large truck.

        I have seen people walking around with umbrellas in the heat, as if the umbrellas were parasols. I haven’t had the nerve to try this, but am tempted. I also may try wearing my straw beach hat in public, assuming I go outside at all between June 1 and October 1.

        • I appreciate these posts….I’ve only been to DC twice and both times it was lovely – seventy degrees and breezy, a lot like San Diego! I could totally see living in DC! Great vibe, great weather, energetic feel, good restaurants. My SO, who grew up in DC, told me the wonderful weather was unusual but I didn’t really believe him. Until these posts.

        • DC is disgusting in the summer (which now lasts from April to October).

          The best solution is not to move here to begin with. Seriously.

    • I keep toner and cotton pads in my desk, wear no makeup during my commute, wipe my face down with toner when I get to the office, and then do my makeup. Also, don’t carry a nice purse when it’s hot out. Sweat and deodorant will ruin the leather (or at least get you a very expensive cleaning bill).

      • Oh, I also carry a handkerchief and a folding fan, and a bottle of water at all times. You can get pretty silk fans at Ginza on Connecticut Ave.

  9. Not glued to smartphone :

    Threadjack- does anyone else find it incredibly rude when people fiddle around with their smartphones during meetings? I have a coworker who brings his personal phone into meetings and plays games on them for most of the meeting. Some of these meetings don’t require his attendance, so I am not even sure why he is attending if he is just going to play some game on his phone the entire time.

    • Yes. Why bother going to a meeting if you aren’t going to pay attention or be engaged? Then again, I am old and am always shocked when I see two people socializing together, like at dinner or something, and both are tapping away on their phones. Have kids these days lost the power of speech and can only communicate through texting?

      Also, hardly anyone is THAT important that they really need to respond to every email instantly. I’ll concede that a few people are, but for most of us, the email really can wait an hour or so.

    • LOL, I guess sitting in a meeting and playing games is a lot more fun than sitting at your desk working. But if his goal is to appear busy without doing any work by attending meetings, he’s defeating the purpose by openly playing games during the meetings.

    • soulfusion :

      A couple of thoughts. First, I often keep an eye on other work emails during long calls and emails so there is a business reason for fiddling with my phone. But it really depends on the meeting whether this is appropriate. Second, as to games. With clients this is never acceptable. However, I will confess that during long conference calls that don’t require me as an active participant, I often play some mindless game on my phone to actually HELP me stay focused. Let me explain. For me, if I am not required to conduct or be active during a call it is really easy for my mind to go frolicking off to some other topic in my head completely unrelated to the task at hand. Playing something extremely basic like solitaire on my phone helps me control that meandering portion of my brain as I listen. But I use judgment with this. I never do it during in-person meetings and especially never with clients or partners with whom I am establishing a relationship or when I have to take notes.

      A year or two ago I was playing solitaire on phone in the office of a partner as we listened to a very long drawn-out conference call. Another partner walked in and peaked over my shoulder. My heart sort of sank in that “I’ve been caught!” dread and he turned his blackberry toward me and showed me he was playing Sodoku and tried to persuade me it was superior. We later had a conversation about how a relatively mindless game helps to stay focused.

      All of that being said, I am not defending your coworker because it sounds like he may have judgment issues. I’m just giving you perspective as to why someone might do this and that maybe he is paying more attention that it appears.

      • Not glued to smartphone :

        I understand your point. I’m a doodler myself, as are many people in my department. However, this individual is bringing his personal phone into meetings. As far as I know, it is not set up to receive work calls or emails. He’s also not required to attend most of the meetings where his behavior is the most egregious. If you’re just going to come and play games, why come at all?

        • Former 3L :

          I’m a doodler, too! It’s the only way I can stay focused but unfortunately my doodles can turn into really elaborate drawings which is somehow much more embarrassing when I get caught.

          I wish people understood us better.

  10. Corporette Meetup? :

    Another threadjack – did anything ever happen about organizing a Corporette meetup in NYC? I think it’d be such a great gathering of women.

  11. Ladies, I need advice. My feelings are a little hurt, and I don’t know what to do about it (if anything). How do you tell someone that you’re hurt that you weren’t invited to a get together without seeming totally lame and needy? This has happened to me a few times with this certain group of friends I know from grad school. I’m pretty sure they all like me, but there is a group of them who go on girls’ weekends, etc., without thinking to invite me. Or maybe they do think to invite me and just don’t want to. I’m not sure which it is. And if they don’t want me to be there, then that really hurts my feelings, but I certainly don’t want to make it awkward by asking to be included. I don’t want to come off as begging. I just don’t know. I actually consider a couple of the girls in this group that often excludes me to be pretty close friends, so it really hurts my feelings that they don’t invite me. Should I say something? Should I just get over it? Should I accept the fact that maybe these couple of close friends aren’t actually as close as I thought?

    • initiate an event and do the inviting. be a great hostess and the fun, smart girl you are, and you’ll remind all that you are in their circle and that you are a great person to know and be around. they’ll invite you to their next thing. not everyone had to be invited to every event, but everyone does have to initiate sometimes and invite the entire gang sometimes.

      don’t wait for the fun, create it. and sometimes create a small event for just your nearest, dearest. it’s okay not to be their bestie, but remind them you are a bright spot and you’ll be included more often while creating your own fun with them or without. you’ll also apprecate how hard (not brains urgery hard, but not uncomplicated) doing the planning is.

      • This is great advice. I don’t blame you at all for feeling upset/left out, but throw a party and remind them how great you are!!

    • Instead of focusing on how you are excluded, why don’t you organize your own girls trip or girls night out, and invite them to join you? The real point is to spend time with them, right? IMHO, it is awkward to be asked to be included in things…there may be perfectly logical rasons for the exclusion other than that they don’t like you e.g. only space for a certain number of people, etc. Confronting people about not being included doesn’t guarantee that you will be included the next time, it probably just guarantees that you won’t be told that they are doing something. If they are your friends, they will want to hang out and accept your invitations. If they don’t want to hang out, instead of dwelling upon it and being hurt, move on and find people who you get along with that do want to hang out…

    • I’ll be interested to see what others have to say, but it seems odd they’d simply not think to invite you. What I’d probably do is the next time you see them post photos or mention a get together like this, you can respond with, “wow, that looks like fun. I’d be up for something like that the next time you get together.” It’s not putting them on the spot and forcing them into a possibly insincere apology, but it does open the door for them to invite you in the future. If it happens again, I would ask the one you’re closest with why you weren’t invited – whether there’s something you’ve done or said to make it seem like you were too busy or not interested, or if the group would prefer not to have you along. Make it clear you know she’s not at fault (even if you’re not so sure) to improve the odds of getting a truthful answer – otherwise she might simply be defensive and you might not get a clear understanding of what’s going on.

      Sorry you’re going through this. Hopefully it’s all a misunderstanding!

    • It’s a difficult situation, because there is no way to tell if this is intentional or not. It’s entirely possible that, although you have some good friends involved, the person/people planning the event is/are not someone you know well. I would certainly avoid saying anything about hurt feelings or anything that would make anyone feel bad. I think you have a few options:

      * Do the inviting, as the other commenter said. (I’m so not an inviter/planner, so I get why this might not appeal to you!)

      * Comment casually that you are interested in what they are/were doing- as in, I’ve always wanted to try that restaurant, or I would love to do something like that sometime. (I have a friend, not super-close, who’s been doing a regular movie night based on the AFI top movies. I completely wanted to go, but didn’t want to invite myself, of course. But I did jump into a facebook discussion about one of the movies (which I had seen before), which immediately garnered an invite. Now, we’re hosting the next one! I’m sure that the friend had just never thought to specifically invite me before I showed that I would be interested.)

      * If you think that you are being deliberately excluded, then you might take aside one specific close friend and simply ask if there’s a reason they don’t invite you. You may or may not get the answer that you’re looking for, but keep in mind that they do not have an obligation to invite you anywhere. If the idea of doing that makes you uncomfortable, then that may answer your question about whether these friends are really as close as you thought they were.

    • Plan your own girls’ weekend and invite them!

      Other suggestions: next time they update you on a fun outing, say “Sounds great. Let me know when you go next time.” Or ask your friend if she has plans that weekend, and she says they are all going out, ask “I’ve been wanting to go on a weekend getaway — is it too late to get in on that trip?”

      Try not to take it too personally; it’s probably not malicious. And if they are specifically excluding you (which I doubt), you deserve better friends anyway.

    • I agree that hosting an event would be fun. Also, it is OK for them to do some things without you and for you to have another group or two that you like to do things with from time to time. I know you know this, but I also know it took me some time to figure this out for myself, as in “just because A is my best friend doesn’t mean A can’t go on vacation with B” so sometimes it helps to remind myself of this.

      Also, maybe it’s as easy as saying to one or two of the girls you are closest to in the group, “hey, if you have an extra spot the next time you go, I’d love to come along. That really sounds like such fun, and I always feel refreshed after hanging out with y’all.” Then, if you aren’t included the next time, you may realize that exactly what you said is true – you might be closer to a couple of them than they are to you. And that’s not a bad thing! I think that at different points in life, this happens to all of us. Someone sees you as being a very dear friend and to you, she is simply a nice girl at work. Or you really value your relationship with someone, and she sees you simply as a nice girl at work. That’s a-ok.

      All of this said, I do understand why your feelings are a little hurt and why you are wondering what to do next. It shows the friendships are important to you. Keep us posted, please, anon.

    • I second inviting your friends to do something. Also, you may not be aware but maybe you’re putting out “I’m too busy” vibes? Some of my nearest and dearest friends would invite me to things even when they knew I couldn’t show up, some others would reach out to me and ask when I was available and then one particular friend would always do some sort of activity without inviting me and then blame me for never spending time with her. It was hard, because she’s a housewife and I work full time and we’re available at different times. To be honest, I never reached out to her but I couldnt take the constant accusations anymore (it was very high school) so I scheduled a dinner with her alone and I told her straight up, you don’t even give me a chance to even say no, let alone stand you up, before you start accusing me of things that I am not guilty of. That’s not fair. We cleared the air but it was a very tense dinner. Not saying you need to do something like that but if you feel like the exclusions are deliberate, then maybe you should speak up if you want to salvage the friendships.

    • “Hey – I heard you guys did Fun Thing last weekend? How was it? I really like doing Fun Thing too – let me know if there’s room the next time you guys do Fun Thing”

      It lets them know you are doing Fun Thing, you are interested in being included in Fun Thing, but gives them an out if there is a reason (which likely doesn’t have anything to do with you) they can’t include you – room, expense, coordinating schedules, etc.

      Otherwise – have you invited them to events that you have coordinated? Sometimes it helps to doing the inviting first.

      The caution on these approaches is to not to overdo the overtures. If the inquiries about Fun Thing don’t result in invites, then drop it. And don’t take it as a reflection of you. Some people can only juggle so many close relationships at once, and it could be you just missed the cutoff. And yes, they might not be as close of friends as you thought initially, or the tone of the relationship may have changed. But, that life.

    • Here are my thoughts – YMMV:

      I am part of a very large group with two subgroups: A (mostly local people) and B (located elsewhere). It’s like a Venn Diagram; there’s an overlap area of people who like each other and the two side areas with common friends (the overlap group) but little interest in or friendship with each other.

      When people in the overlap group (who are part of Group A, of which I am a “member”) do things with people in Group B (with whom I either don’t have a relationship and/or who don’t particularly like me), it’s easy to feel left out. If I were to say something like, “Gee, I’d be interested in X the next time you do it” … well, everyone would feel awkward.

      You might evaluate the relationships this particular group seems to have among its members. If you are only close to a few of them, you may be dealing with an “overlap” group of your own.

      I realize this is a convoluted approach, but something to consider.

    • Are you excluded from events other than girls’ weekends? I think what makes a good friend doesn’t always make the greatest travelmate. It’s not just about spending 4-5 hours with each other during one activity, but spending 48+ hours constantly with a group.

      That said, there may be some underlying reason. I had a group of girlfriends in grad school who started to exclude me when they thought I was being too independent. I’d sit with other friends or pick a group based on the topic and not because they were in it. They pretty much thought we should all be inseparable all the time. It was pretty silly and eventually they got over it.

      • Iknowwhatyoumean :

        My name says it all. I had this exact experience in law school. It was especially weird because I NEVER felt this way in undergrad, so I knew I was not the needy/weirdo type. I make friends with lots of types of people and I keep friends for many years so I know I’m not socially weird or anything.

        To be honest, I had to realize that these girls were basically jerks. Unless you hung out with them 24/7 (I mean that pretty much literally), you couldn’t be in their circle. Having friends outside of that friendship meant you were an outsider, so you get invited to big events, but not to the really ‘good’ close friend events. I think a lot of it was sparked by jealousy, the fact that they all had some insecurities about themselves, etc. I’m not trying to be mean, but it took me a long time to realize that I shouldn’t be fighting to be friends with a bunch of jerks- they would make fun of people from our law school, generally look down on others, could never leave the house without makeup and nails done, and won’t even say hi to anyone they don’t deem “cool”. It was like mean girls- somehow I (stupidly) wanted to be part of the crew because I thought they were important. It took a few months away from them to see the reality. I have a tendency to always hope that people are deep down good inside, so that got the better of me for a couple of years.

        Nice girls don’t act like this. So long as you don’t have a history of this/a tendency toward neediness, then it seems like you need to move on and you’ve done nothing wrong. If you are their real friend, you shouldn’t be invited to some things, and not others. It’s either all or none (within reason of course. I understand everyone isn’t invited all the time, especially for spur of the moment things. But if they keep it secret instead of being like ‘the other day, Alex and I were at dinner and this happened- so funny!’ which indicates they are comfortable with you knowing about these gatherings). If they think you aren’t their true friend, then you shouldn’t get invites to anything, in my opinion. Its almost like leading you on- good enough for some events, but not all.

        If, however, you have a history of feeling like this with others, then maybe you’re trying to befriend people that simply aren’t interested- which people are allowed to do. The reason why I concluded it was them, not me, was because this is the only group of people I ever felt like this, and I’ve had experience with sorta being friends with someone but not being invited to gatherings and being okay with it- i.e. I can recognize that not everyone will be my BFF.

        Hope that helps. I mean this in the nicest way because I don’t want you to spend nights being sad/depressed. I hope it makes sense, I wrote this rather quickly, and this stuff is hard to explain in type. Go find better friends- they’re not worth it!

        • Once again, I am overwhelmed by the kindness of the Corporette readers! I really appreciate everyone’s input. Y’all have given me a lot to think about.

  12. Sewing Sister :

    Any sewing corporettes out there? I’m considering buying a Brother brand Serger. I’ve never used a serger before, or a Brother brand product. Any feedback from anyone who has (i.e. ease of use, durability, etc) or who has used a different brand and has advice?


    • I sew a little! I have a low end brother sewing machine and I kind of hate it. It feels very cheap and flimsy, and shakes like hell. Don’t know if the same would be true of their sergers (or higher end machines). I’d recommend testing out in person anything you plan to buy. Good luck!

    • Yup! I have a serger, but it’s an older Viking Husqvarna (I bought a used model from a sewing/vacuum supply store). It’s a beautiful machine. My golden rule with sewing machines is to buy things with metal interior parts, not plastic. Even though they’re a little more finicky than their cheaper brethren, they generally last a lot longer and produce high quality stitches with less fuss. That being said, I have a friend who has a Brother serger (I think a 4 thread overlock) and she puts it through the wringer on a regular basis, and it’s still running strong after 5 years.

      What are you going to use yours for? I basically use mine to finish seams and raw edges and to make the occasional garment out of jersey or stretch knits. I think I could have gone with a cheaper model, but I was really looking for something that will last forever.

      • Oh, and if it helps, my regular machine is a Bernina 1230 from around 1995. I also bought it used. It’s a brick house!

        • Notalawyer :

          I second the point to buy one with metal parts.

          Sometimes, if you befriend a sewing machine repairperson, they can recommend or sell you a used and refurbished machine of great quality for a very economical price.

    • Is there any reason you need a serger? There are plenty of sewing machines in the $200 range that will be able to finish seams/raw edges without the need for a full-on serger. As a whole, Brother machines do tend to get good reviews once you get out of the ultra-cheap models. There are plenty of sites out there that do pretty thorough reviews of popular machines and tell you the pros and cons of each machine.

  13. Finally bought myself a Clarisonic! Can’t wait to get it in the mail and start using it :)

  14. Threadjack:

    MBA corporettes: what’s your advice for the pre-MBA years of work?

    Background: I graduated last spring, and started a corporate job and have been there for about 8 months. It wasn’t exactly in my field of interest, but as a recession grad, I willingly took it anyways. Now, although I’m doing well, I realize that I have no interest in the industry at all and don’t really want to stay here. (basically, if i work hard, i might advance in the company, but i don’t really want to because it’s not a company or a field I ever want to work in).

    I applied for my dream job at a different organization, and although didn’t get it i was in the final running, and the very high-up exec who interviewed me offered me a personal internship working for him directly.

    I’ve also seen other jobs that would appeal to me and that I am thinking of applying to. The thing is: I want to go to business school in 2 or 3 years. Will switching jobs look bad on an application? (i.e. 1 year corporate, 6 month internship, 1.5 years other job, or 3 jobs in 3 years) I know that it sets me back in terms of “career advancement” because I’d basically be starting over, but it’s only a year or two — and I figure it’s worth it to figure out what I actually want to do and hopefully transfer into working at a job I care to advance in.

    Also, thoughts on taking the internship? It’s for a company/person I really admire and i think it could be a potentially great experience, but it might look odd on a resume to go from college to real job back down to an internship.

    • I’m also a recession grad, and I’m in my first semester of my MBA. Regarding years of work experience, I think 2-3 will be fine. I ended up doing quite a bit of freelance work after the start-up I worked for went under, and I had no trouble getting into grad school with my combined 2.5 years of experience. However, a lot of my classmates have 5+ years of experience. The MBA is a great degree for a well-rounded person, so from what I’ve seen, most programs won’t really count it against you if you’ve had a mish-mash of experience. Considering it’s often a go-to degree for serial entrepreneurs (since it teaches all aspects of business and management), a lot of people come from a really diverse path back to school.
      Regarding the “real job” back to an internship, I think ti’s fine if it’s truly a strategic stepping stone as you suggest. Especially as a recession graduate, a lot of companies/grad programs will give you the chance to explain a seemingly odd choice. Just make sure you put it in your essay as an opportunity to grow, and see about the possibilities for getting hired within the organization after the internship is over. Best of luck!

    • Also, switching jobs a few times puts you in a good position to narrow down what you would like to do after your MBA. I think even after 2-5 years of pre-MBA experience, a lot of people don’t really know what they want to do, and they expect the MBA to feed them an answer. I find that the most successful MBA students are those with a good idea of the specific kind of position they’d like post-MBA.

    • Booth Class of 2012 :

      I think it depends on what kind of MBA program you’re targeting, and how eloquently you can describe why you made the decisions you did. If you hope to attend H/S/W or similar you need to be able to spell out what your intent was with each move, and if you are able to do so effectively it might actually be to your benefit that you were so self-aware and acted thoughtfully in every decision you made.

      The bigger risk in taking that path would be the caliber of job #3. What happens if you take the internship, learn a lot, but end up back in a job similar to #1 without being able to show any growth/progression on your resume? If you feel comfortable with that potential outcome, then go for it! And you might also take the opportunity to start studying for the GMAT if you haven’t already- it takes some time to get the hang of the quant questions :-)

      Good luck!

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